Fascism: Past, Present, Future by Walter LaqueurFascism: Past, Present, Future by Walter Laqueur

Fascism: Past, Present, Future

byWalter Laqueur

Paperback | November 1, 1997

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Mussolini's march on Rome; Hitler's speeches before waves of goose-stepping storm troopers; the horrors of the Holocaust; burning crosses and neo-Nazi skinhead hooligans. Few words are as evocative, and even fewer ideologies as pernicious, as fascism. And yet, the world continues to witnessthe success of political parties in countries such as Italy, France, Austria, Russia, and elsewhere resembling in various ways historical fascism. Why, despite its past, are people still attracted to fascism? Will it ever again be a major political force in the world? Where in the world is it mostlikely to erupt next? In Fascism: Past, Present, and Future, renowned historian Walter Laqueur illuminates the fascist phenomenon, from the emergence of Hitler and Mussolini, to Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his cohorts, to fascism's not so distant future. Laqueur describes how fascism's early achievements--the rise ofGermany and Italy as leading powers in Europe, a reputation for being concerned about the fate of common people, the creation of more leisure for workers--won many converts. But what successes early fascist parties can claim, Laqueur points out, are certainly overwhelmed by its disasters: Hitler mayhave built the Autobahnen, but he also launched the war that destroyed them. Nevertheless, despite the Axis defeat, fascism was not forgotten: Laqueur tellingly uncovers contemporary adaptations of fascist tactics and strategies in the French ultra-nationalist Le Pen, the rise of skinheads andright-wing extremism, and Holocaust denial. He shows how single issues--such as immigrants and, more remarkably, the environment--have proven fruitful rallying points for neo-fascist protest movements. But he also reveals that European fascism has failed to attract broad and sustained support.Indeed, while skinhead bands like the "Klansman" and magazines such as "Zyklon B" grab headlines, fascism bereft of military force and war is at most fascism on the defense, promising to save Europe from an invasion of foreigners without offering a concrete future. Laqueur warns, however, that anincrease in "clerical" fascism--such as the confluence of fascism and radical, Islamic fundamentalism--may come to dominate in parts of the Middle East and North Africa. The reason has little to do with religion: "Underneath the 'Holy Rage' is frustration and old-fashioned class struggle." Fascismwas always a movement of protest and discontent, and there is in the contemporary world a great reservoir of protest. Among the likely candidates, Laqueur singles out certain parts of Eastern Europe and the Third World. In carefully plotting fascism's past, present, and future, Walter Laqueur offers a riveting, if sometimes disturbing, account of one of the twentieth century's most baneful political ideas, in a book that is both a masterly survey of the roots, the ideas, and the practices of fascism and anassessment of its prospects in the contemporary world.
Walter Laqueur is co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary History and serves as chairman of the International Research Council at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. His books include Black Hundred, Russia and Germany, The Long Road to Freedom, The Fate of the Revolution, Terrorism, The Dream that Failed...
Title:Fascism: Past, Present, FutureFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.91 × 5.31 × 0.59 inPublished:November 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019511793X

ISBN - 13:9780195117936

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From Our Editors

Fascism is a movement of protest and discontent, and there is today a great reservoir of dissatisfaction with contemporary life throughout the world. In carefully plotting fascism's past, present, and possible future, journalist Walter Laqueur offers a riveting, disturbing account of one of the 20th century's most baneful political ideas.

Editorial Reviews

"[Laqueur] has been one of the most respected scholars of fascism for more than a generation....He is unquestionably well-equipped to write this wide ranging book....Laqueur has written to provoke thought and to highlight the next major wave of fascism that will not exactly mirror the contentand form of earlier varieties. As such, it is a book that can be recommended highly."--The Historian